The Sugar Quill
Author: Pottergirl  Story: Her Favourite Sugar Quill  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A/N:- It took me a lot of time to write this story. I started out in a different way, and ended up writing a totally different story. Then, I had to rush it to Areeba K to beta read it in time for the deadline. I only hope it’s turned out fine. Also, a very Happy 1st Birthday in advance to Sugarquill, one of my favorite sites on the net, co - run by one of my Inspirations, Arabella.

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‘Fred and George really know how to torture a person,’ Ron groaned, closing his eyes, and laying his head back on the armchair. Harry chuckled. He and Ron were sitting in front of the Commonroom fire, their legs propped up on footstools. Their homework lay abandoned on another armchair.

‘You can laugh all you want,’ Ron muttered, not looking at Harry. ‘You’re the Seeker. And I? New Keeper, who needs all the training he can get before the first match! Really Harry, did you have practices as tough as these when you first joined the team?’

Harry wriggled his toes in front of the fire. Fred and George were being a little hard on Ron, making him practice strenuously during every practice.

‘Not as much as you, I guess,’ said Harry shortly. He looked at his watch. He wanted some dinner but both he and Ron had been really tired when they had returned from practice. Unlike the rest of the team that had gone for dinner straight away, Harry and Ron had retired to the Commonroom to rest for a while.

Ron’s stomach gave a low grumble. He chuckled.

‘Should have had some dinner,’ Harry commented, putting his feet down slowly.

‘We can always go down to the kitchens later and get something from Dobby…’ said Ron, putting his feet down too. His stomach gave another grumble.

‘Maybe we should go now,’ said Harry, chuckling. Ron grinned. Harry rarely laughed since the events of the last term, and it was good to see him do so once in a while. The sound of the Portrait hole closing made Harry and Ron look up suddenly.

Hermione was walking towards the pair, recognizable only by the towering stack of different books in her arms. Ron felt something flutter inside his stomach at the sight of Hermione. He wasn’t able to explain it, nor had he fully realized it himself but every time he looked at Hermione, he felt really…happy and warm. He usually found himself grinning, and looking at her. This was a recent development, and it had probably come about since Ron finally realized Hermione was a girl at the Yule Ball the previous year.

‘Looks like we aren’t the only ones skiving off dinner today,’ Ron said as Hermione put her books down by the fireplace.

‘I was in-’ Hermione began.

‘-the Library. We know,’ said Ron, grinning. ‘But honestly, Hermione, the O.W.L.s are still quite far away. You don’t have to skip dinner - yet.’

Hermione placed her hands on her hips.

‘Seven and a half months! They’re very near, and I don’t normally skip off dinner, Weasley. If you had sense, you’d have starting studying too! You can call me a study freak, a book worm or a snot all you want, Ron but you’ll find out at the end of the year who’s right!’

Ron was taken aback by Hermione’s outburst in reply to his mild comment. Harry closed his eyes, feeling a verbal battle coming on. Hermione looked at Ron for a moment, and then turned to the fireplace.

‘I didn’t mean it that way, really, Hermione. Sorry.’

Harry’s eyes flew open, and he looked at Ron. Ron had actually apologized to Hermione, something he had almost never done before. Once or twice perhaps…but not so readily and unexpectedly. Hermione looked as surprised as Harry did. She looked at Ron silently as her mouth fell open slightly. Ron felt himself going red steadily but he could not make himself look away.

‘Oh…’ said Hermione. Forgetting her books completely, she turned around, and hurried up the girls’ staircase to her dormitory.

Ron gazed at the girls’ staircase even after she had gone, and when he finally turned to Harry with a bit of a grin on his face, he saw Harry smirking back at him, his eyes shining wickedly.

‘That was…unexpected,’ said Harry, his smirk not flickering in the least. Ron scratched the back of his neck, feeling himself go red, a small smile beginning to tug at the corners of his mouth.

‘Stuff it, Harry,’ Ron muttered, ducking his head to hide his growing grin. Harry was not to fooled. He had, after all, been Ron’s best friend and companion for five years now.

‘You can’t hide it from me, you know,’ Harry said, in a slight singsong tone. Ron forced himself to look up. He was blushing red now, knowing that Harry meant what he had said. He opened his mouth, and then closed it again. Harry’s eyes never left Ron for a moment.

The sound of laughter, talking and discussion suddenly broke through the silence, growing louder. The Gryffindors were returning from dinner. The portrait hole opened, and in stepped a group of first years. Almost immediately, the whole Commonroom was occupied. Students crammed around the fireplace to warm their hands and feet. Harry and Ron got up to go. Ron was about to breathe a sigh of relief when Harry said,

‘Let’s go upstairs.’

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‘I really don’t know myself, Harry…only - I think I’m beginning to fancy Hermione - a little.’

Harry chuckled and sat down on his bed. Ron had just owned up to the fact that he really liked Hermione - as in more than a friend, and he was really red, standing there by his bed, looking at the floor.

‘I knew it. It was obvious!’ Harry exclaimed. Ron looked up, happy to see Harry really smile and laugh for the first time in days. But the more dominant thought in his mind was…

‘It was obvious?’ he echoed.

‘It definitely was, Ron. I’m sure the whole of Gryffindor, except you and Hermione knows about it. It’s about time one of you realized it!’ Harry grinned. Ron looked very surprised at what Harry had said. He groaned slightly, and went over his bed to sit down with his head in his hands. He looked up after a moment to see Harry looking at him with an expression of mild bewilderment.

‘Everyone knows…and I don’t know the first thing. I nearly got into another fight with her today,’ Ron moaned.

‘But you apologized.’ Harry tried reassuring Ron.

‘Harry, that doesn’t prove anything, does it? I mean, I want to do something special for her once…if she really likes me back,’ said Ron, doubting Hermione really liked him back the way he liked her.

‘Ron, she does like you back. You remember what happened at the Yule Ball?’

Ron groaned. ‘I know, don’t remind me. She got pretty angry that night.’

Harry knew this was heading in the wrong direction.

‘You need to tell Hermione how you really feel for her,’ said Harry. Ron got up from his bed suddenly, staring at Harry as if he had just been told to wrestle Aragog, the monstrous spider.

‘I can’t, Harry! She doesn’t feel the same way. I’d make a fool of myself…and she’d end up saying…that…she likes someone else.’

Harry knew what that meant. No assurance, it seemed, could ever persuade Ron that Hermione did not like Viktor Krum in a more-than-a-friend way.

Harry shook his head.

‘Ron, if you still think that way, even after Hermione did not visit Bulgaria this summer, I think you’d have to try something else. Why don’t you give her something as a gift?’

Ron was quiet for a moment, and then he looked up suddenly, smiling, his eyes twinkling.

‘I know!’ he exclaimed.

‘What?’ asked Harry quickly.

‘You know what Hermione really likes?’ asked Ron, trying to tame his hair.

‘Studying?’ Harry tried. Ron shook his head.

‘Hermione simply loves Sugarquills. Especially those “Honey-Berry” ones! I’ll order her some.’

Ron whirled around, and ran out of his dormitory door before Harry could say a word. Harry raised an eyebrow.

‘I’d suggest a flower or something.’ Then he smiled. ‘Wonder how Hermione will take this.’

 

Harry awoke the next morning to find Ron already awake and dressed, combing his flaming red hair.

‘Have I overslept?’ Harry asked. Ron turned to him.

‘Good morning, Harry. And no, you haven’t overslept. Seamus and Neville are still asleep. I got up early,’ he said. Harry noticed Ron was smiling.

‘What are you up to?’ Harry simply asked, getting out of bed.

‘Nothing.’

‘Then why up so early, and why that big smile?’

‘I had some…work to do,’ said Ron quickly. ‘Let’s go down to breakfast.’ Harry smiled to himself as he quickly changed into his school robes. Evidently, Ron was up to something.

Ron glanced at Hermione at moments during breakfast. She seemed to be having the normal day, and had apparently completely forgotten (or was ignoring) the small episode in the Commonroom the previous night. But Ron was looking out for something else.

Hermione looked up from her bowl of porridge to see Ron looking at her. He found her staring back, and quickly looked away. Hermione was a little confused.

He was looking at me, wasn’t he?

Hermione smiled slightly, looking at Ron. He had apologized to her the previous night. Hermione felt a slight blush coming on, and she had a quite a fair idea of why that was happening. She knew herself that she fancied Ron - a lot, and her feelings for him had been growing, very steadily since their first year when he and Harry had saved her from a giant troll. Yet, he did not ever seem to return her feelings, and she doubted there’d ever be something more than just best friends between herself and Ron.

Hermione looked up again to see Ron glance at her.

‘What?’ she asked immediately with a tone of impatience.

‘N-nothing,’ said Ron, and quickly looked away. Harry looked from Ron to Hermione. Hermione looked at Ron for a moment, and then looked back into her porridge. She then suddenly looked up.

‘Oh yes, I have been wanting to ask you-’ she said to Ron and Harry, and burrowed into her school bag. Ron gulped. Hermione came up with a golden quill.

‘Did any one of you drop this is my bag by mistake?’ Harry looked at the Sugarquill in Hermione’s hand, and shook his head.

‘I haven’t had one for months. Which flavor?’ he asked. Hermione shrugged and slightly licked the tip of the quill. Her eyes seemed to sparkle.

 ‘“Honey – Berry”, my favorite. And I don’t think either of you likes that flavor,’ she said, and glanced at Ron. He shook his head quickly.

‘No…it’s not mine.’ Harry looked at Ron. Why didn’t he say he had “dropped” it into Hermione’s bag? Why couldn’t he admit it? What was the use then, of giving the Sugarquill to her in the first place?

Hermione grinned.

‘Well, then it’s mine. Poor kid who lost his “Honey – Berry” flavor. He must be missing it somewhere,’ she said, and licked the tip of the quill happily. Harry grinned.

‘I don’t know, Hermione. He probably didn’t like that flavor.’ Ron turned slightly red, and was glad Hermione was more interested in her favorite Sugarquill to notice his blush.

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That day in Potions, Professor Snape seemed very sour, and angrier than ever. He had already managed to take off ten points from Gryffindor before lesson started, and since it was double Potions that day with Slytherin, no Gryffindor expected the total loss of house points by the end of the lesson to be less than fifty points. They tried working in silence so as not to attract the attention of the Potions master much.

‘Page two hundred – seventy nine. Start copying down the ingredients for the “Bone Melting” potion! And if I hear one sound, I’d see to it that that person serves a two hour detention every day of this week!’

Snape turned to the black board, and started writing the ingredients. Hermione quickly opened her book to the commanded page. Good, she thought to herself. She had already read through it twice the evening before, speculating that they were going to brew that potion in class the next day. She placed her cauldron on the desk, and gasped. Snape turned around in a second, and fortunately, Hermione had regained herself in time. Snape looked at the class, or rather at the Gryffindors, closely.

‘Another sound, and I’ll make sure that idiot gets kicked out of this class!’ he shouted, his voice resonating in the cold dungeons. Hermione looked back into her cauldron. A golden Sugarquill lay in the small, black cauldron. She took it out, and slightly licked it. Honey – Berry again.

She turned to Ron and Harry to see both scribbling down their ingredients quickly. Harry glanced up for a moment, to see Hermione looking across at himself and Ron.

‘What?’ he mouthed. Hermione looked confused. Her favorite flavored Sugarquill could have been dropped into her bag accidentally only once, and finding another on the same day, in a totally different place was no mere accident. Someone was putting her favorite Sugarquills into her things. Who would? Hermione was very confused. Who knew her well enough to drop her favorite Sugarquills into her things?

Harry raised an eyebrow as he recognized the quill, and tried to stop himself from smiling. He had to admit, Ron was doing a pretty good job of it. He glanced at Ron. Apparently, Ron had long discovered that Hermione had found the second quill. His ears were turning red, and on his parchment, he had written down “Crushed Spiders- one tablespoon” about five times already.

Harry nudged Ron, who immediately looked up.

‘What?’ he whispered. Harry pointed at Hermione with his quill. Ron turned, and Hermione held up the mysteriously occurring quill, looking no short of bewildered. Ron looked at the quill, and Harry almost thought, not caring what Snape heard or said, Ron would tell Hermione is feelings for her, and that he was sending her these quills. But after a moment of silence, he shrugged. Harry shook his head slightly, and returned to his work. This could go on forever.

Hermione looked at Ron for a second, then looked at the Sugarquill. Who was sending her these quills? What did they mean? She had not had Sugarquills for quite sometime too so they were definitely not her own, forgotten in her bag or something.

Snape turned back to the class.

‘Now, light your fires!’ he barked. Hermione snapped out of her confused reverie, and realizing she had yet to copy down the ingredients, hurriedly put the Sugarquill aside for the moment to complete the task at hand.

Hermione did not receive any more Sugarquills that day. That evening, in the Commonroom, Ron looked at her silently as she sat in a corner, reading in a book while licking the Sugarquill she had found in her cauldron. It had been no easy task, slipping those Sugarquills into her things when she was not looking. The toughest had been when he had had to get up early, and slip into her dormitory while she was asleep to put a Sugarquill into her bag. Putting one into her cauldron was rather easy. Before Potions, while he, Harry and Hermione had been walking down the Fifth floor corridor, a simple Severing charm had done it. Hermione’s bag strapped had severed, and her bag had dropped to the floor. While they collected Hermione’s quills and books from the floor, Ron was able to slip a Honey – Berry Sugarquill into her cauldron, and incidentally, she had not seen it there at that time.

‘I wish you’d do it already,’ said Harry, who was sitting beside Ron, doing his homework. Ron knew that. He knew he had to tell Hermione how he really felt for her, soon. The Sugarquill business could not last for long, he knew. He could be caught some day, stowing it away in her things or she, with some ingenious idea of hers, could figure out the sender. But Ron loved doing that. He liked the way her face looked confused and bewildered when she got a Sugarquill.

‘I’ll do it…soon,’ said Ron, more to himself than to Harry.

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‘I can’t believe this,’ said Hermione in a shocked tone. ‘Third one in two days.’

She held up another golden Sugarquill. If Harry was trying act normal, it was nothing compared to what Ron was trying to do. Ron knew his ears were turning very red, and he doubted his expression was going to stay at “natural bewilderment” for long.

‘Another one?’ asked Harry, a tone of amusement in his voice. ‘Where could they be coming from?’

Ron kicked Harry’s foot quickly under the Breakfast table.

‘Another what?’ asked a voice. Fred’s.

‘I don’t know…I’ve been getting Honey – Berry Sugarquills since yesterday. They seem to turn up in the strangest of all places. This is the third one, and it was in my copy of “Hogwarts: A History”. ’ Hermione was still very surprised.

Fred and George grinned.

‘Hermione’s got a secret admirer,’ said George simply. Hermione turned red. It had never occurred to her that some…boy could be sending them…much less a secret admirer.

‘What?’ she said unthinkingly. Fred glanced at Ron, and was pleased to see his youngest brother’s ears and face turning red.

‘Someone who knows how often you refer to “Hogwarts: A History”. Not everyone refers to that book as often as you do, Hermione. Don’t know why you do it though. You’ve already memorized every word in it as Ron says,’ said George, grinning widely, and glancing at Ron.

Hermione looked as if he was going to contradict his statement, and argue that she was had not memorized every word in “Hogwarts: A History”. However, she knew what George had said was true - someone knew that she did open that book very often. But who?

‘Good luck with your admirer, Hermione,’ said Fred, and with that, Fred and George left the Breakfast table for classes, chuckling. Hermione looked at the Sugarquill, not understanding what was happening.

‘Come on,’ said Ron hastily. ‘We’ll be late for History of Magic.’

Hermione put the Sugarquill into her robes’ pocket, and quickly left the table, not being able to wonder whom it was. She knew, if it was really a secret admirer who was sending her the quills, whom she’d want that person to be. But quickly dismissing that thought as totally impossible in this world, she quickly left with Ron and Harry.

History of Magic was as boring as ever with Professor Binns droning tone almost sending you to sleep. Everyone yawned as he went on about the Goblin Rebellion of 1657 and how it resulted in the decapitation of the head Goblin. Ron yawned, and looked over at Hermione. She was taking notes quickly but seemed to be slightly preoccupied. She didn’t look up at all; instead scribbled away quickly in a very untidy writing. That was not like Hermione. Ron took the opportunity to gaze at her undisturbed. She was quite pretty, he thought. Or was it that she had become prettier over the holidays? He didn’t really know the answer. Her long, dark brown eye lashes and cinnamon eyes with her healthy complexion, and long curly hair made her look really…beautiful. Ron closed his eyes slowly.

Someone was calling out Ron’s name loudly, and he snapped out of his reverie, looking around for the person calling him.

‘Ronald Weasley!’ 

Professor Binns was looking at him directly. The rest of the class looked quite awake, sitting up in their desks.

‘I enquired how many days the Goblin Rebellion of 1657 lasted?’

Ron was quite surprised. Professor Binns never asked questions in class, and this was very unexpected. Moreover, he did not know the answer to that question. He had been too busy gazing at Hermione, and perhaps falling asleep while doing that. He glanced at Harry for help but it seemed, from his looks, that Harry himself had just awakened from a short nap.

‘Er - sorry, sir?’ Ron said. Professor Binns looked at Ron with narrowed eyes, and repeated the question stiffly. Ron was beginning to worry, when out of the corner of his eyes, he saw Hermione’s hand, under her desk. She had three fingers open, and she was shaking her hand slightly to emphasize her point.

‘Th-three,’ said Ron quickly. Professor Binns stared un-movingly at Ron for a moment.

‘Very well,’ said Professor Binns. ‘And for a moment, I thought you were not paying attention. After the third day, one of the minor rebellion group leaders, Fiddleskinfick, was able to persuade…’ 

Ron let out a sigh of relief. He looked at Hermione, who was also looking his way. He grinned at her, and mouthed “Thankyou”. Hermione smiled, and looked away quickly, picking up her quill to take down notes. 

She did not just blush, did she? Ron thought, still gazing at Hermione. Professor Binns would have probably caught him again for not paying attention if the bell had not rung, signaling the end of the lesson and the school hours.

‘Your homework,’ said Professor Binns, as the class got up to leave. ‘An essay on the Goblin Rebellion of 1657 in the form of a day-by-day account, and the eventual decapitation of Hujiphore. I expect it tomorrow.’

Groans emanated from the line of students at the door. Professor Snape was also expecting homework the next day - along with Professors McGonagall and Trelawney. Professor Binns, as usual, took no notice of the groans, and wordlessly left the classroom through a wall. Ron realized he needed notes to do the homework Professor Binns had given them. Since he had not taken any, he considered borrowing from someone. Harry was stuffing his books into his bag. Ron made his way through the crowd towards him. The History of Magic corridor was full of people at that moment as a group of fourth years was also passing. Ron was about to ask Harry for his notes when Harry looked up, definitely not at Ron. His eyes lit up, and he waved slightly to someone on the other side of the crowd. Ron, surprised, looked in the general direction where Harry was waving. Ginny was there, with her friends.

Ron knew Harry waving to Ginny was not a surprise – anymore. Ginny and Harry had become good friends over the holidays when Harry had been visiting the Burrow, and Ron was relieved, that at least Ginny was not blushing anymore at the sight of Harry.

Before Ron could ask Harry for his History of Magic Notes, Harry made off through the crowd towards Ginny, clearly forgetting Ron’s presence.

Someone grabbed Ron’s arm, and he turned to see Hermione there. She was grinning.

‘Come on, let’s get out of this rush,’ she said, and led Ron down the corridor where they stopped to wait for Harry.

‘Getting to become good friends, aren’t they?’ said Hermione, looking at Harry talking animatedly to Ginny who was smiling. Ron frowned slightly, looking at the pair.

‘What do you mean?’ Hermione rolled her eyes at Ron’s comment.

‘Oh come on, Ron,’ she said. ‘Don’t be so thick. Harry’s probably beginning to fancy her.’

Ron looked thoroughly surprised.

‘What gives you that crazy idea? They’re just friends.’

Hermione wanted to say ‘We’re best friends but I fancy you.’ but did not dare do so. She looked away. Ron noticed she was still holding his arm, and he forgot about Harry and Ginny, suddenly feeling strangely tingling sparks rush through that arm.

‘Er Hermione…I wanted to thank you for that help back there,’ said Ron, remembering their History of Magic class. Hermione smiled, though surprised Ron was being strangely thoughtful those days.

‘Doesn’t matter, Ron. You probably just dozed off.’

Ron was quite surprised. Hermione was acting rather strangely. Normally, she would have lectured him for sleeping in class. And she was smiling at him now…a very beautiful smile.

‘Hermione?’ Ron said.

‘Yes?’

‘I didn’t take any notes in History of Magic today. Can I borrow yours to do the homework?’ Ron asked, wondering if she was in a good enough mood to agree. She probably was.

‘Oh, ok. I was going to do my other homework first anyway, so you can have those notes. But only today!’ Hermione added the last part a little sternly but Ron felt like laughing. He loved it when she was all soft but still the same old Hermione.

Hermione balanced her school bag on her knee, and burrowed into it. She took out a sheaf of scribbled-upon parchments.

‘Here, will you hold my bag for a moment, Ron? I put that parchment among all these before leaving class. Stupid of me, really to stuff it into the middle somewhere,’ said Hermione, and Ron took her bag. Hermione began searching through the parchments for the History of Magic one, and Ron ingeniously took the opportunity to slip another Honey – Berry Sugarquill into a thick book in Hermione’s bag. He looked up just in time before Hermione took out the right parchment, and handed it to Ron, taking back her bag. Harry joined them just then, looking quite cheerful.

‘Sorry to keep you waiting,’ he said quickly, his green eyes looking quite lively.

Harry, Ron and Hermione decided to go to the library to do their homework when they found the Commonroom quite full. Ron and Harry were quite glad they did not have Quidditch practice that day as they had a very big pile of homework they had to complete. Well, Hermione, being the more organized one, had already completed most of it, and she only had to her Potions essay.

The library was sparsely occupied when Harry, Ron and Hermione entered it. They found a small table in a corner, and sat down to work together. Ron took out a spare parchment and his Divination textbook to begin work with Harry, as always. He looked up from his textbook to see Hermione, having no books open before her, gazing into space with her hand propped up under her chin.

Ron waved his quill before her eyes, and she snapped out of her reverie.

‘Hellooo… Hermione? Where are you?’ he asked.

‘Oh, just thinking…’ Hermione trailed off.

‘About?’ asked Ron hoping it was not a particular, duck footed, world famous Quidditch player. Hermione turned quite red.

‘Oh, about those Sugarquills. I really have to find out who’s sending them…’ said Hermione thoughtfully.

‘You think someone’s sending them?’ asked Ron, feeling his voice begin to crack. Harry looked over his book at Ron and Hermione, wondering how long Ron was going to beat about the bush.

Hermione turned slightly redder, and sought refuge by turning to her bag to take out her books.

‘Could be,’ she mumbled. Somehow, Ron knew she was thinking of…that Quidditch player. He was probably right.

Hermione emerged from under the table with Standard Book of Spells – Grade Five and a spare parchment. Ron turned back to his homework, knowing Harry was right. He’d have to tell her the truth quickly. Hermione flipped the book open quickly, and her eyes grew wide. A gasp left her.

A golden quill had flown out of the book when she had flipped it open quickly, and it landed softly on the table before her. Ron and Harry looked up. Harry grinned.

‘This Sugarquill sender is quite ingenious. Another quill, and from your Potions book,’ he commented. Hermione was spellbound as she picked up the golden Sugarquill.

‘I don’t believe this,’ she said quietly, staring at the golden quill in her hands. Ron ducked his head in his Divination book. ‘That was quick,’ was the only thing he could think of. Hermione was looking at the Sugarquill, smiling now. Ron would have given all the gold he had if he could find out what she was thinking of at that moment.

‘Hi, Ron,’ said someone. Ron looked up. Ginny was standing by their table with her bag in her arms, grinning happily.

‘Hi, Harry. Long time no see,’ she said. Harry chuckled as they had only just met a quarter of an hour ago. Ginny looked at Hermione, and her mouth fell open.

‘Hermione!’ she said, quite loudly. Madam Pince, the librarian sitting nearby shushed her, and Ginny immediately lowered her voice. She bent down by Hermione.

‘You got another one then Hermione?’ she asked, quite fascinated. Ron felt his heart skip a beat. How many people knew Hermione was getting Sugarquills? Hermione blushed slightly, and smiled.

‘Yes, it came out of my Potions textbook…’ she said, still quite surprised herself. Ginny looked very excited.

‘Someone really fancies you, Hermione. He’s going through a lot of trouble to slip your favorite Sugarquills into your things,’ she commented. Ron did not know whether to be pleased or to be worried by that comment. Ginny knew her brother quite well, and she glanced over at him. She grinned at him, and quickly looked away.

‘It doesn’t have to be a… a boy,’ said Ron quickly, and then mentally slapped himself for making such a stupid sounding comment. Ginny giggled, and Hermione smiled, trying to stop herself from laughing out. Ron looked over at Harry for some backing. Harry was also chuckling softly, looking at Ginny. Ron felt quite irritated.

Ginny bent down by Hermione, and Ron strained to hear her words.

‘Did you get any letters from Viktor?’ she asked in a whisper, evidently not wanting to be overheard. Ron stared at Hermione, and was quite horrified to see her blush, even if it was very slight. ‘No!’ he thought desperately. This couldn’t be.

‘Yes,’ Hermione whispered, looking at Ginny, and nodding her head. ‘Last week.’

Ron groaned inwardly. He felt the whole idea of the Sugarquills was totally stupid and disastrous. Hermione was having deeper than ever feelings for Viktor Krum, he thought.

Ginny grinned, straightened up.

‘Well, see you then,’ she said to the Harry, Ron and Hermione, giving Ron a kiss on his cheek before leaving. Ron rubbed the area in concern, angry with himself for sending the Sugarquills, and with Ginny for actually saying out “Viktor” at the most inappropriate moment. 

Ron was quite distracted the rest of the time while he was in the library. Somehow, he managed to complete his homework when an image of Viktor Krum loomed constantly at the back of his mind. He was getting quite angry and irritated, and was thinking of as many ways possible of seriously hurting him when he got the chance.

It was in the Commonroom, later on, where the worst happened. Harry, Ron and Hermione stepped into the Commonroom through the portrait of the Fat Lady. Hermione started towards the girls’ staircase, and Ron blurted out-

‘You got a letter from Krum then?’

Hermione looked at him, her mouth opening slightly.

‘Why do you have to go and interfere in other people’s businesses?’ she said hotly. Her face was quite red. Ron was shocked – and angry. Hermione was blushing, Ron noticed, which meant…she did have feelings for… that person.

‘I just asked if you really got a letter from him,’ he retorted, equally angry. Hermione took a deep breath.

‘Yes, so what?’ she said, glaring at him now. Ron, himself was at quite a loss for words. Hermione smirked, her eyes glinting.

‘And I guess he’s probably the one who’s been sending these Sugarquills…’ she said in a teasing tone. She hated it when Ron brought up Viktor Krum, talking of him as a danger to her being. It was even more embarrassing for her when they were in public, as they were then. The Commonroom was occupied by quite a lot of Gryffindors at that moment.

Ron’s mouth fell open slightly; his eyes grew wider, and more desperate. His worst fears had been confirmed. She did think Viktor Krum was sending her those Sugarquills. Somehow…

‘Hermione, those quills were put into your things, he isn’t here!’ Ron exclaimed.

Hermione clenched her fists, aware of the stares of the people sitting around.

‘Ron, it’s no business of yours what I think!’ she hissed.

‘It is!’ Ron shouted back. Harry couldn’t predict what would happen next. Hermione was glaring at Ron, and her eyes seemed quite bright. She took a deep breath.

‘If you’re going to think of it that way,’ she said, as calmly as possible, ‘I cannot do anything about it, other than stop talking to you. Now, can I have my History notes back so that I can leave, and go somewhere you aren’t?’

Ron glared back, his ears and face as red as his hair. His whole body was beginning to tremble slightly now.

‘Fine!’ he said, his voice equally low. ‘I don’t know why I – I…’  His voice trailed off. He put his hand into his robe pocket, took out what he thought was the required parchment, and threw it towards Hermione. Without another look, he turned around, and ran up the stairs to the boys’ dormitory.

 

Hermione faintly saw him running up the stairs. She stared at the floor, feeling anger she had never felt before. It took her several moments before she realized what she was seeing. Her mouth fell open, and she dropped to her knees. She didn’t realize she had dropped her books. She saw what Ron had thrown at her before leaving.

She lost the ability to speak, as she picked up several golden quills from the carpeted floor of the Commonroom. Sugarquills

The unshed tears from a moment ago now fell silently but for an entirely different reason. Hermione clutched the Sugarquills tightly, particular scenes from recent days flashing in her mind all of a sudden. It had been so clear, so obvious…and hadn’t it been what she had wanted herself? Then why had she not seen it earlier? No, she had never thought that Viktor had but… it was Ron…?

Hermione did not care to wipe the tears away. She felt so…cruel and hard hearted. She felt a hand on her shoulder, and then someone sat down beside her.

‘Harry…’ she whispered, wanting to confirm her thoughts. Was it Ron…?

Harry grinned at her.

‘Why don’t you go up to him?’ he suggested. Then, in a lower voice, he added, ‘I know you’re a prefect but you could bend a rule today at least?’

Hermione suddenly felt better. She nodded quickly, smiling very slightly, and quickly got up, still clutching Ron’s Sugarquills. She surprised Harry by giving him a quick hug, and a watery smile before turning around and hurrying up the boys’ staircase. Harry grinned after her, and then bent down to pick up her books.

----------

Ron glared at his blanket, clutching his pillow, ready to tear it apart. A few tears fell from his eyes, and he immediately wiped them away with the sleeve of his robes. It wasn’t any use, he realized. He shouldn’t have done it in the first place. He hit the pillow with his fist, feeling angry, hurt and rejected all at the same time.

‘Ron?’

Ron looked up immediately. She was there, outside. Well, he thought. She can stay there all she wanted because he wasn’t going out to apologize, he decided firmly. And he wasn’t going to argue with her anymore. She could shout her head off if she wanted to. However, a part of him knew from the tone of her voice she wasn’t there to shout at him or make him apologize.

‘Ron, are you here?’ The voice was closer now. Ron didn’t know why he did but he coughed slightly. Deliberately. He heard footsteps nearing his bed, and then slowly the thick curtains were pulled back.

‘What do you want?’ Ron asked hotly. Hermione stepped back quickly, leaving the curtains, and they fell back to their original position, hiding her from view. Ron paused, then stood up and walked out, surprising her by suddenly appearing through the curtains.

‘What are you doing up here? I’m here, aren’t I? I’m not sure you’ll find peace here,’ he said coldly. Hermione did not want to cry in front of him. She held back her tears, and tried to pull herself together. Taking a deep breath, she held out her hand, and opened her palm.

‘I came to return what you threw at me downstairs. They’re not my History of Magic notes,’ she managed to say.

Ron’s mouth fell open as he saw the Sugarquills in her hand. Threw at her…? He had taken out Sugarquills, not her History of Magic notes in his state of fury, he realized. She knew now… he had been caught…

‘Hermione…’ he whispered not knowing what to do or say. Hermione looked up slowly. His eyes were now completely devoid of any fury or anger. She smiled slowly.

‘You know, Ron…I found out who’s been popping those Sugarquills into my things,’ she said, grinning. Ron’s eyes grew wide, and he felt his throat dry up.

‘You k-know?’ His voice cracked. Hermione nodded.

‘George was right. It was someone who knew how often I open “Hogwarts: A History”,’ said Hermione, enjoying watching Ron being cornered.

‘Oh…’ said Ron, barely getting the single word out. Hermione smiled.

‘And he knows my favorite Sugarquill flavor,’ she said. Ron was staring at her, not able to manage another word.

‘I have to thank him, you know. I had to reply to his letter anyway,’ said Hermione, looking at Ron closely. Ron’s jaw dropped. Krum?

‘Hermione, it’s - it’s not him!’ he said quickly. Hermione raised an eyebrow.

‘How do you know that?’

Ron felt his heart throbbing in his throat.

‘It’s not like him, he wouldn’t,’ he rushed. Hermione smiled slightly.

‘Then – Harry?’ Hermione suggested, took a step backwards, and turned around.  Ron froze in a state of shock. Harry…he thought. Harry was right. I have to tell Hermione…Ron made up his mind in a fraction of a second.

Hermione waited for the blow to fall. She knew Ron would either scream, shout – or stomp away the next moment. Her back was turned but she knew Ron was staring at her and then –

A hand grabbed Hermione’s arm, and swung her around. She looked up at Ron, surprised, and her grin faded as Ron bent his head down towards her.

He’s going to…kiss me, Hermione thought frantically. Not that she did not want it.

But Ron stopped within an inch from his goal, feeling Hermione’s irregular breath.

I sent you the Sugarquills, Hermione…because…I…’ he trailed off, and instead of completing his statement, he pulled her closer, and brought his lips down on hers.

Hermione went stiff, not knowing how to respond to the gentle but desperate kiss.

Ron pulled away quickly, worried how she’d react. She looked up at him, slowly, her eyes wide.

‘You know I’m not stupid, Ron,’ she said, and stood up on tip toes, stretching towards him. Ron felt himself feel light headed immediately, and sweet relief washed over him. He wrapped his arms around her as their lips met for a second time.

Hermione bravely parted her lips, and a moment later, Ron thought,

‘Honey Berry isn’t that bad after all.’

 

I could spend my life in this *sweet* surrender

I could stay lost in this moment forever

Where a moment spent with you is a moment I treasure

                                                                                                (Aerosmith – I don’t wanna miss a thing…)

-----------

 

Harry looked up at the boys’ staircase. It was dinnertime, and the Commonroom was empty now. Harry shut “Quidditch Through The Ages” and stood up, sighing. How long are Ron and Hermione going to be up there? he wondered. He put his book on Hermione’s stack, and turned to go to dinner himself.

‘Harry, wait!’

Harry turned around to see Ginny running down the girls’ staircase, hailing him. She jumped off the last step.

‘I just found out that – ’ she said excitedly but was cut off as her foot caught in an armchair leg. The next moment, Harry found himself flat on his back with Ginny on top of him.

Ginny turned red.

‘Oops,’ she mumbled. Harry looked at her sparkling brown eyes and wild red hair, fascinated.

‘Harry?’ he heard her say shyly. He blinked.

‘Can I get up now?’ she asked, blushing furiously. Harry realized his arms were around her waist, holding her down.

‘Sorry,’ he murmured, releasing her from his grip, and she quickly got up. Harry got to his feet, feeling his face burn.

‘You were saying…?’ he said after an awkward silence. Ginny grinned.

‘I just met Hermione. She was blushing, and when I stopped to ask her if she had received another Sugarquill, she vanished into her dormitory. I can’t believe it. Ron’s told her, hasn’t he?’

Harry grinned.

‘I guess so. How did you know it was Ron?’ he asked curiously. Ginny grinned wickedly.

‘You and Hermione may not have noticed but while you were picking up Hermione’s things on the fifth floor today when her bag’s strap broke, I saw Ron slip in another Sugarquill,’ she said proudly, making Harry chuckle.

‘I’ll go and check on Ron,’ said Harry, suddenly getting the urge to tease his best friend. Ginny nodded, and stepped out of the portrait hole to go to dinner. Harry watched her go, and then his eyes fell on something golden, lying by the staircase on the floor of the Commonroom. He went over to it, and bent to pick it up.

Hermione had missed a Sugarquill. As Harry looked at the Sugarquill, he realized Ron’s plan had not been that bad after all. A thought strayed across his mind, and he smiled.

‘I wonder if Ron knows Ginny’s favorite flavor.’

 

Happy Birthday again, Sugarquill ~ and may there be many more to come! ^_^

Love,

Pottergirl

____________

 

//
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